Ashbygate co-conspirator Karen Doane has gone to ground out of fears for her personal safety. Ross Jones considers who or what she might fear.
Karen Doane, James Ashby’s colleague and co-conspirator, has signed a statutory declaration alleging she fears at least one person wants to do her personal harm.
We know this, because the Federal electoral role shows Ms Doane’s residential address in Queensland’s Wide Bay electorate has been suppressed.
Now, the Australian Electoral Commission does not do this lightly. It takes more than a phone call or even a visit to the local Electoral Office — it requires a signed statutory declaration that you are in genuine fear for the physical safety for yourself or your close relatives before you can become a ‘silent elector’.
An elector must apply to the AEC, complete a Registration As A Silent Elector form and attach to this a statutory declaration compliant with the Statutory Declarations Act 1959. In other words, the person completing the declaration, in this case Ms Doane, agree they will be guilty of an offence under section 11of the Act if they state an untruth (make a false oath).
Ms Doane’s statutory declaration must have contained enough information for the AEC to grant this ‘silent enrolment’.
Is this a can of worms, or what?
We know there are some interesting characters around Mr Ashby and there are probably a lot more who had the brains not to text anyone even vaguely linked to him. We may never know about them — the unknown unknowns.
At about 8.57 pm on Thursday 12 April 2012, Mr Mouatt sent a one word text to Mr Ashby – ‘Acknowledged’. A few minutes later he texted: ‘ETA 10.25’. Mr Ashby replied he thought this was ‘brilliant’.
For some reason, Mr Mouatt seems to have been Mr Ashby’s caddie for the evening, and a little after 11pm he texted proudly ‘I have you (sic) bags at the front’. Mr Ashby texted ‘Thanks so much Simon’. Mr Mouatt gallantly replied ‘my pleasure’.
These characters are just the tip of the known knowns. You know how the rest of the saying goes.
I am not suggesting in any way that any of the knowns might be implicated in Ms Doane’s fears, which might themselves be real or imagined.
I am suggesting the possibility this whole affair will end in tears has just gone up a notch.
(Read IA's full investigation into the James Ashby conspiracy by clicking here.)